Russia’s lifting its ban on supplying Iran with S-300 air defense missile systems is a direct result of the Obama administration’s nuclear arms deal with the Middle East nation, says Pete Hoekstra, former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.
“This was a deal originally Russia had made back in 2007 with Iran to provide them with sophisticated anti-aircraft equipment,” Hoekstra said Monday on “The Steve Malzberg Show” on Newsmax TV.
“But Russia, because of pressure from the United States and Israel, backed off and really, for almost seven years now, has put that deal on ice.
“Now that they sense a vacuum and a lack of American leadership and they sense that America wants a deal so badly they’re moving into that vacuum and have now announced they’re going to finalize this agreement with Iran and ship this equipment.”
Russia is also dealing with other Middle East nations as a result of the U.S.-Iran deal, said Hoekstra, a former Michigan congressman.
“They’re also moving into a vacuum in Egypt, where the U.S. has been very reluctant to ship military equipment to Egypt, and Russia has negotiated and continues to negotiate more arms deals with Egypt,” he said.
Hoekstra complimented the growing list of Republicans who have declared their candidacies for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination: Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Ted Cruz of Texas.
“The Republicans are actually developing a very exciting feel with Rubio, Paul, Cruz and the other dozen or so other candidates that are going to come in, all of whom have a track record of success,” he said.
“They have an impressive set of credentials individually, and what we have to do and what I hope happens is that they focus on a positive message, an alternative to Hillary Clinton and the Democrats.”
He warned Republican candidates against spending the next year bashing each other.
“They do have differences, but the bottom line is they have a lot more in common than what separates them. That’s what we have to remember and that’s what we need to focus on,” Hoekstra said.
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